A World Cup special featuring Nick Hornby on England's failures, Panini Cheapskates, Nasa astronauts, an interactive game of Spot the Ball and Phil Neville's Game of Thrones commentary
The BBC produced this collection of stories, videos and interactives before they realised England wouldn't make it far enough in the World Cup to take part in a penalty shootout, but it's still an impressive piece of work.
This column has been a fan of Richard Swarbrick's illustrations for some time, but now is the perfect time to follow his YouTube channel.
England loves her scapegoats. By the time the players had trudged home to an empty English airport and greeted the one disappointed fan who turned up to welcome them the punditocracy had already proposed a selection of explanations for their failures in Brazil. The manager picked the wrong players; footballers are paid too much to care; the Premier League has killed the national game; the country needs more pitches; the coaching system needs "root and branch" reform; etcetera and so on, forever and ever, amen.
Nick Hornby provides a different perspective in this piece for ESPN. We should not be surprised by England's failures. We should be surprised when they succeed – as their record at international tournaments is not have as good as we think: "The truly remarkable thing about England's two defeats to Italy and Uruguay is that they took the nation by surprise. We are always taken by surprise, every time we are sent packing early; and we are sent packing early just about every time the World Cup is played outside England." England fans will enjoy watching their team more when they realise that England are underdogs and that underdogs usually lose. That's just the way it is.
Someone with too much time on their hands has worked out that it would cost £365.50 to complete Panini's World Cup stickerbook. That's too much money for a lot of us, but how else can we satisfy our itch for stickers? Step forward Panini Cheapskates: the blog for people with more sense than money. The drawings are wonderful, but identifying them isn't as easy as it might sound.
It's called the World Cup, but Nasa astronauts in orbit on the International Space Station are also enjoying the action.
This is a lot of fun.
Yes, it's an advert for a multinational company, but Nike's advert for this World Cup is every bit as good as their Write the Future film from four years ago and Brazil's airport kickabout for France 1998.
This couple of 80-somethings went to their first World Cup 32 years ago and were rather struck by the experience: "When we first went to the World Cup in 1982 we were so captivated by the beauty of watching the match in the stadium that we decided we had to go to every World Cup." They told their story to BBC in this two-minute video. It's very sweet and is worth a watch.
If you do not enjoy this, send your complaints to Points of View.
Andre Gola is a Brazilian artist who has been sharing his cartoons on Instragram throughout the World Cup. "They’re simple and humorous sketches about this huge event, and the way Brazilians mix football and politics," he says. "Brazilian politicians have committed several mistakes planning this World Cup, but our people will be able to give the world a great show. Trust me."